President & CEO, Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation

Rachel Gazdick


Rachael joined CIHAD in October 2012. She brings the organization 18 years’ previous experience in education and advocacy, most recently as Executive Director of Say Yes to Education Syracuse. Housed in the School of Education at Syracuse University, Say Yes is a school district-wide organization serving more than 22,000 students in 31 schools. While at Syracuse, she was also an assistant professor for the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies. From 2001 to 2008, Rachael was assistant director and then director of the Office of Community Engagement and Integrative Learning, running an array of community-focused programs and initiatives operating within a social justice context located on campus. From 1999 to 2001, she was executive director of Near East Side Community Development Organization of Syracuse (NESCO), focusing on job placement, training, mentoring and youth programs. She began her career with Teach for America, serving as a special needs teacher in South West Louisiana for two years.

Rachael has a master’s in education from Harvard University; a master’s in social work from Boston College, where she focused on needs assessments, grant writing, nonprofit management and community mobilization; and a bachelor’s in speech communication from Syracuse University.